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  1. Umm…Julio Lugo probably won’t spend too much time as a shortstop this season, actually. Assuming Brendan Ryan is anywhere near healthy, he’ll be the Cards’ starting shortstop, and if Ryan isn’t healthy they’ll probably turn to Tyler Greene first (for–you guessed it–his defense.)

    Lugo is more likely to platoon with Skip Schumaker at second, taking the games against tough LHP which have always given Skip problems.

    Just sayin’…that contestant would lose if he named Julio Lugo among the NLC starting shortstops…

    Comment by flyerdog11 — February 15, 2010 @ 8:25 am

  2. ” Orlando Cabrera and Julio Lugo will roll off the contestant’s tongue”

    And the contestant would be wrong, because Julio Lugo isn’t the Cardinals’ starting short stop, and may not even be the defacto choice if Brendan Ryan’s injury keeps him out until opening day. The usual impeccable level of research and editorial input from Fangraphs…

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — February 15, 2010 @ 8:28 am

  3. All he has to do is post .700 OPS and league average defense at shortstop and he’ll be a productive, cheap player, something Houston needs more of. That doesn’t sound impossible, although perhaps .650ish is more likely for his rookie season.

    Comment by OremLK — February 15, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  4. I asked the exact same question last week. After getting as in-depth a look as I could with Mr. Manzella, my hunch is that Tommy Manzella is a below replacement level hitter and, at best, is a league average defender.

    As I said in the linked piece, calling someone the best defensive infielder in the Astros farm system isn’t say much—if anything. Something about in the kingdom of the blind…

    Comment by Stephen Higdon — February 15, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  5. Kudos to flyerdog11 and Felonius_Monk for missing the point!

    Comment by scatterbrian — February 15, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  6. They are trying to get an Elvis Andrus season out of him, I’m sure. Probably also a little nostalgic for Everett.

    Comment by Steve — February 15, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  7. Brian Bocock version 2

    Comment by recca — February 15, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

  8. I’m just not sure why you’re so down on Manzella, looking at his numbers and at his scouting reports. He’s no Everett with the glove, but he does profile as an above average defensive shortstop, average at worst.

    Over the course of his minor league career you’re looking at a guy who’s walking 7% of the time and striking out 17.5%. He doesn’t have much power, but I think he’s a guy who has more in him than just slapping the ball on the ground; “doubles machine” is a fair description of his 2009 season at AAA, I think. He’s had a few stops with over .400 SLG.

    What’s dragging his career numbers down are a couple of bad half-seasons mixed in with an otherwise solid (though unspectacular) minor league career. I looked at his batted ball profile for those two half-seasons and it didn’t change by any significant amount, while his BABIP dropped from his career level of around .335 all the way to .273 and .265 respectively.

    If you take out those poor showings he’s been around a .290 hitter with doubles power and a little below average patience. Add in above average defense and there’s plenty to like.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him turn out to be an ML average shortstop.

    Comment by OremLK — March 27, 2010 @ 2:26 am

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